- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 14, 2002

Kingpins fell like tenpins as the "Rest of the World" beat the favored Russians in a 10-round rapidplay team match this week in Moscow.
Classical world champ Vladimir Kramnik and former champion Garry Kasparov staggered through the event, with Kasparov losing three games on his way to a 4-6 result, while Kramnik finished 4-5 with two losses. Former FIDE world champion Alexander Khalifman managed only 3-5.
Only Anatoly Karpov, the fourth titleholder on the Russian lineup, could achieve a positive score, finishing 5-4.
The World team was actually studded with former Soviet stars and Russian emigres, with only Britain's Nigel Short, Indian Viswanathan Anand, and Hungarians Judit Polgar and Peter Leko not hailing from the confines of the old Soviet juggernaut. The absence of British GM Michael Adams and Bulgarian Veselion Topalov, both among the game's very best, had made the World team distinct underdogs going into the contest.
One of those emigres, Latvian-born Spanish GM Alexei Shirov, was the World team's star, going 7-3 and defeating Kramnik. Current FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine was a solid 6-4, and was one of the few players in Moscow to finish play without a loss.
The headline game of the event was Kasparov's first-ever loss to Hungary's Polgar in Round 5. Polgar is the strongest female player of all time, but she sported a miserable 0-9-3 score against Kasparov in nonblitz play before their meeting in Moscow.
Kasparov's Berlin Defense is an odd choice, especially given his overwhelming record against Polgar. White is under little pressure in the opening, and Black must be prepared for some patient defensive maneuvering hardly the ex-champ's style.
Perhaps Kasparov simply wanted a quick draw, knowing he was off form. Perhaps he put too much faith in the unusual idea 11…Be7 12. Ne2 Nh4?! (this knight usually serves defensive duty at e7 or d6 in the Berlin), but Polgar proves up to the challenge and steadily outplays her opponent.
After 22. Kg2 Rh7 (the open h-file will prove useless for Black) 23. Kg3 f6 24. Bf4 Bxf5 25 gxf5 fxe5 26. Re1!, Black has managed to cripple the White kingside majority, but at the fatal cost of ceding the central files to White's rooks. Polgar breaks on top with 26…Bd6 27. Bxe5 Kd7 (see diagram; simplifying with 27…Bxe5+ 28. f4! Rh5 29. Kg4 Rh7 30. Rxe5+ Kf8 31. Rd7 is also very uncomfortable to Black) 28. c4!, when the threat of 29. c5, winning the bishop, costs Black a pawn.
With an extra pawn and dominating rooks, Polgar has little trouble wrapping up the point. With his king pinned to the back rank and his pawns falling on both wings, Kasparov resigned.
Shirov and emerging Russian teenage star Alexander Grischuk already have a nice little rivalry going. Both players relish complications, know no fear at the board, and have waged several monstrously complicated brawls already. Their Round 9 encounter may have been offered the best move-for-move entertainment value to be had in Moscow.
Things are already sharp by Move 9, and Black had a chance to head for the completely irrational with 12…Qxg1!? 13. Bxg1 Nxc2+ 14. Kd1 Nxa1, a position nearly impossible to evaluate.
Grischuk throws back Black's early rush and goes on the offensive following 14. Kd1 d4!!? 15. Bxd4 Nb4 (Nxd4 is too dangerous; e.g. 16. Nxd4 Qh5+ 17. Be2 Qh4 18. Bb5+ Ke7 19. Nf5+! exf5 20. Qd7 mate) 16. Ng3 Qg4+ 17. Be2 Qh4 18. Nce4 Nc6 19. Nd6+. The passed White d-pawn soon costs Black a piece, because 23…Rd8? loses to 24. Qd6+ Kg8 25. Qe7.
But Shirov manages to keep his hopes alive, exploiting the fact that neither king is safe. White appears to miss a strong shot (26. c6! bxc6 27. Rxc6 h5 28. f5 exf5 29. Rc8 Rxc8 30. Bxc8 Kg8 31. Nxf5, threatening the queen and mate on g7), and his time-wasting 28. Kg1? (Qb4! here is very awkward for Black) allows Shirov to crawl back into the game.
White eschews multiple opportunities to draw by perpetual check, and it costs him when Black alertly switches to an endgame giving him four powerful connected passed pawns for the rook: 41. Kd1 Rxc5 42. Rf1+ Rf5! (running away is perilous 42…Kg5 43. Qd8+ Kh5 44. Qh8+ Kg5 45. Rg1+ Kf6 46. Qf8+ Ke5 47. Rg5+ Ke4 48. Rg4+, winning) 43. Nxf5 gxf5.
Given the difficulties rooks have restraining passed pawns, Grischuk's decision to trade queens immediately is intriguing. Whatever he had in mind, Black wastes no time rushing his pawn phalanx forward and the White rook is unable to generate sufficient counterplay from behind.
The h-pawn freezes the White king to g2, and the Black monarch uses his own pawns as a shield behind which to deliver the final blow: 57. Rh4 Ke3 58. b4 b5 59. a3 a6 (White has run out of moves; if now 60. Rg4, Black wins with 60…f3+ 61. Kh1 Kf2 62. a4 e3 63 axb5 e2 64. Re4 g2+ 65. Kxh2 g1=Q+ 66. Kh3 Qg3 mate) 60. Rh8 f3+! 61. Kxg3 f2 62. Kg2 Ke2.
After all the craziness that has gone before, the conclusion is clarity itself. On 63. Rf8 h1=Q+ 64. Kxh1 f1=Q+ 65. Rxf1 Kxf1, the Black e-pawn would give Black his fourth queen of the game. Grischuk resigned.

Russia vs. the World, Moscow, September 2002
1. e4e522. Kg2Rh7
2. Nf3Nc623. Kg3f6
3. Bb5Nf624. Bf4Bxf5
4. 0-0Nxe425. gxf5fxe5
5. d4Nd626. Re1Bd6
6. Bxc6dxc627. Bxe5Kd7
7. dxe5Nf528. c4c5
8. Qxd8+Kxd829. Bxd6cxd6
9. Nc3h630. Re6Rah8
10. Rd1+Ke831. Rexd6+Kc8
11. h3Be732. R2d5Rh3+
12. Ne2Nh433. Kg2Rh2+
13. Nxh4Bxh434. Kf3R2h3+
14. Be3Bf535. Ke4b6
15. Nd4Bh736. Rc6+Kb8
16. g4Be737. Rd7Rh2
17. Kg2h538. Ke3Rf8
18. Nf5Bf839. Rcc7Rxf5
19. Kf3Bg640. Rb7+Kc8
20. Rd2hxg4+41. Rdc7+Kd8
21. hxg4Rh3+ 42. Rxg7Kc8
and Black resigns

Russia vs. the World, Moscow, September 2002
1. e4c632. Re1Qg4+
2. d4d533. Kf2Rxd7
3. e5Bf534. Qxd7+Kf6
4. Nc3e635. Qd8+Kf7
5. g4Bg636. Qd7+Kf6
6. Nge2c537. Ne3Qxf4+
7. Be3Nc638. Ke2Re5
8. dxc5Rc839. Kd3Qe4+
9. f4Qh4+40. Kd2Qb4+
10. Bf2Qxg441. Kd1Rxc5
11. Qd2Nb442. Rf1+Rf5
12. Rg1Qf543. Nxf5gxf5
13. Rc1Nxc2+44. Qd2Qxd2+
14. Kd1d445. Kxd2g5
15. Bxd4Nb446. Ke2g4
16. Ng3Qg4+47. Rc1h3
17. Be2Qh448. Kf2f4
18. Nce4Nc649. Rc7g3+
19. Nd6+Bxd650. Kf3h2
20. exd6Nxd451. Rh7e5
21. Qxd4Nf652. Rh6+Kg5
22. Bb5+Kf853. Rh8e4+
23. d7Nxd754. Kg2Kf5
24. Bxd7Rd855. Rf8+Ke5
25. Ke1Qxh256. Rh8Kd4
26. Kf1h557. Rh4Ke3
27. Rg2Qh358. b4b5
28. Kg1h459. a3a6
29. Nf1Rh560. Rh8f3+
30. Rxg6fxg661. Kxg3f2
31. Qd6+Kf762. Kg2Ke2
White resigns
David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at [email protected]m.

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